Sunday, July 25, 2004

A Pet Peeve...
Somehow, although I can't recall ever asking for it, I get the Charlotte Observer delivered right to my door. The Observer is a lovely little newspaper that tries real hard to be the New York Times, and fails, which should be a cause for celebration, but I digress. The point is, I never asked to have the paper delivered. The person who is delivering these newspapers is making a mistake. P.S. I never see this person --- the papers somehow magically appear on the doorstep and no one ever comes to collect money for it, which confuses me.

What's even more confusing is that the paper isn't even delivered every day. Somehow, I might get it 3 times a week, sometimes five, and almost always on Sunday (not always). So, someone is delivering papers that I never asked for, they're not even delivering it every day, and they never come around to get paid for it. I know what you're saying: I'm getting something for nothing, and I really shouldn't complain about it, right? Well, I will. I don't want a newspaper and if I did, I am capable of spending a half a buck and getting it from the vending machine up the block, thank you. Newspapers are something of a misnomer these days as they contain a lot of advertisements, a huge sports section, and very little of what can be called "information". I'd rather watch Fox and MSNBC (just to make sure I got both sides of the propaganda) and surf the 'net for news, other blogs, etc, etc. No muss, no fuss. No papers to throw away (keeping the enviornment CLEAN! And you thought I didn't care?). Nothing to bundle up for recycling and no black ink all over my white t-shirts.

So, last week I left a note on the door for the paper-boy (or person) explaining that I did not order the paper and would they please stop delivering it? To no avail, because newspapers kept showing up. They I realized why -- these are split-level developments here and in order to get to my door, you have to negotiate a set of stairs (going down, of course) and whoever is delivering the things is standing at the top of the staircase and flinging the paper towards my door. They didn't even SEE the note.

So, I posted it where it would be SURE to be seen: at the top of the staircase. In big, block letters. I even wrote "Thank you" on it. Sure as God made the Keebler elves, more papers were deposited at my doorstep.

True, this is a minor annoyance. But think of the long-term damage that is being done; I am having a product delivered to my door for no charge. Somewhere, a corporation is laying out money for labor, materials and delivery so that I can get something I'm not paying for. Now, I'm positive that I'm not the only person in Charlotte that is getting a newspaper they ain't paying for, but even if the number is miniscule, over time it adds up. Fifteen-cents to produce a paper. Thirty five cents in lost profit. Fuel being consumed and labor being expended to deliver it someplace it shouldn't go. No one making an attempt to collect that lost revenue. Why, if this losing proposition continues, someone may eventually lose a job. Then he can't pay his bills and the guy at the credit card company loses his job, which causes the auto worker to lose his job, and so on and so forth. Economic disaster may well be traced back to my free newspaper!

I called the Charlotte Observer and asked them would they please tell who ever is doing this to knock it off? I feel like a thief and I hate having to keep filling my garbage cans with stuff I never asked for (I've also tried that with the phone company, the electric company, the credit card companies, the bank, get the idea. They send a bill that fits on one sheet of paper, but you get 12 other sheets fo advertizing). I was told that they will get the word out to the "route carrier" as soon as they can, which should be before the next lunar eclipse that coincides with Arbor Day. In the meantime, if anyone wants a free Charlotte Observer, just come to my house and absolve me of the fiscal responsibility.

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